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Helping a newborn sleep

(32 Posts)
Angelico Fri 05-Oct-12 20:02:37

Hi all,

Our baby is 10 days old and a great feeder and reasonably good sleeper... BUT she has a 'psycho' stage once or twice a day where she just fights going to sleep madly. She will doze and then scream madly on and off for a couple of hours. This is manageable when she does it in afternoon or evening but horrible if it hits at midnight...

Some of it seems to be wind and Infacol has helped. Was also reading Baby Whisperer and she suggests keeping baby awake for half an hour after feed - but sometimes this seems to make things worse.

Any strategies? Was considering swaddling but she escapes from a muslin or blanket. Anyone tried a Miracle Blanket or Swaddle Pod? Any other tips? I am the first to admit I am completely shit at sleep deprivation and when she has her 'mad two hours' after midnight I feel desperate...!

Thanking you in advance for any suggestions!

Hpbp Fri 05-Oct-12 20:37:05

Have you considered osteopathy ? I took my DD, 9week old and was told she had some cranial pressure due to birth even if she was born without instrument. She also had wind and took ages to burp after BF. She was sometimes very noisy. After one session with the osteopath, it looks like she is getting better at winding and sleeping. Good luck. Don't leave it for too long.

ElphabaTheGreen Fri 05-Oct-12 20:37:27

No expert on sleep (having a doozy of a time with 4 month old DS) but keeping a 10 day old baby awake for half an hour after a feed sounds a bit mad - I've heard this as a complaint about The Baby Whisperer, actually, although I haven't actually read it myself. I think it would get her very overtired and therefore much harder to get to, and stay, asleep. If she gets drowsy or falls asleep after a feed, put her down for a snooze.

Angelico Fri 05-Oct-12 22:04:22

The osteopathy is really interesting - was reading about it. I don't think she's as bad as all that yet but will definitely keep it in mind if needed. And Elphaba I'm starting to agree with you - I kept her awake 'playing' this afternoon and she had the daily meltdown. The only thing is I would rather the meltdown struck during the day than in middle of night so it's a tricky one.

ElphabaTheGreen Fri 05-Oct-12 23:31:42

She's slightly too young yet to be able to differentiate between day and night so, as far as she's concerned, she's melting down whenever she feels the need. Mine melts down when he's overtired too which, if she had one on cue when you were trying to keep her awake when biological sense says she should be sleeping, sounds like what she's doing. When she wakes up in the middle of the night, keep things really boring, lights low, minimal eye contact or talking so she doesn't wake up too much. That may keep the meltdowns to the daytime. A bedtime routine started at the same time each night will also help her learn that dark time is for sleeping and light time is for playing (but also sleeping - daytime naps are very important for good night time sleep. So I'm told. Hence I have a perpetually screamy and overtired baby who hasn't read that particular piece of advice <sobs>)

White noise has been our life-saver for the meltdowns - if you have an iPhone, look for the White Noise Baby app. Best 69p I ever spent.

PS If you have any more sleep-related queries, the forum for that is under 'Body and Soul' and it's called, oddly enough, 'Sleep'. It took me a little while to work that one out but I've been putting it to good use ever since.

SamSmalaidh Fri 05-Oct-12 23:34:07

Are you breastfeeding? Does she need to cluster feed maybe?

lilolilmanchester Fri 05-Oct-12 23:40:45

congratulations Angelico! Depends on what's keeping her awake (no shit Sherlock...) but one of the top tips we got from a very experienced midwife, was that babies are so used to being warm in the womb, and then typically will have a feed snuggled against a warm body before being put down to sleep, that even on relatively warm days, cot bedding can be quite cold. She suggested warming bedding with a hot water bottle before putting the baby down. I swear, made such a difference. Just check that the bedding hasn't got so hot that it will burn delicate skin and always remove the hot water bottle....

sorry if that doesn't help you, but it might help someone else... very definitely a tried and tested ti[

HKat Sat 06-Oct-12 07:36:24

Agree with all the above - particularly swaddling which worked very well for my DD at that age...

Can recommend Swaddle Me wraps - worked a treat on our DS as he used to flail around a bit and had a heck of a startle reflex!

broodylicious Sat 06-Oct-12 13:38:59

Hi angelico congrats on your dd smile My dd is 6 months old now and we've had a dreadful time when it comes to sleep - she's never really gone for the napping thing and we are (fingers crossed) just coming out of a 12 week phase of nighttime hell where she slept 30 mins, then took 30-40 mins to put back down! We're woken five times a night now so getting better.

I had read loads and loads about sleep routines (bw was one) and the importance of daytime napping to aid solid nighttime sleep. I tried loads of different things - bouncing, singing, walking, rocking, driving, feeding - and was driving myself totally mad trying to get her to sleep in the day at all, never mind any kind of routine. In my desperation, i posted on here and someone said to me that you can't force a baby to sleep, just give them the opportunity to sleep so I gave up trying all those tricks and thought she'd sort herself out.

I wish I had continued trying. She still only catnaps and as I say she's been awful at night.

So my advice would be to try anything to get the naps in during the day by doing whatever it takes and hopefully the nights will be easier.

On the mummy sleep deprivation side - you will cope. Pre-Poppy, I was an 8hr minimum every night so was v concerned about sleepless nights. As I say, I've had plenty in the last 12 weeks but I'm just about surviving because I know she won't be like this forever. I hope.hmm

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 06-Oct-12 16:09:57

Haven't read the whole thread so sorry if I'm repeating Angelico and congratulations on your lovely new LO thanks.

Firstly I'd ditch the Baby Whisperer, its a pretty bfing unfriendly book, her methods aren't evidence based and the Baby Whisperer has even made it's way onto the Kellymom Book to Avoid list here. One of the great benefits of bfing is that you can feed to sleep and it is a great comforter. If you are trying to get baby to stay awake she could just be overtired and unable to cope, much better to go with the flow as it were smile.

If you feel that you do need a book to help you with LO then I'd recommend Baby Calming by Caroline Deacon. Here's the blurb:

- Ways to help your baby sleep through the night
- Proven soothing techniques to comfort crying
- Successful feeding from bottle or breast
- Practical steps to solve problems with colic
- Establishing the right routine for you and your baby.

Secondly, are you still under the MW and has she been checked for Tongue Tie? Do the symptoms sound anything like these? If you are still under them, I'd give them a ring and ask them to check for you.

Seriously think though that she could just be overtired. Try the swaddling and white noise and the Happiest Baby on the Block technique is very good if LO won't settle after a feed too.

Angelico Sat 06-Oct-12 17:41:56

Some really good tips ladies, thanks! LO is just waking up and having been as quiet as a mouse all day I reckon it's screaming time... if so will put these to the test! smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 06-Oct-12 18:06:35

Angelico, glad you've had a bitter day. If she is unsettled more in the evenings, have you read this?

ZuleikaD Sat 06-Oct-12 18:43:53

Feed to sleep!

Angelico Sat 06-Oct-12 19:07:13

That's really interesting Jilted thanks! Zuleika she always wakes up after a feed so not really an option. She just fed for 35 mins solid but then woke up. She seems to have settled ... for now...

broodylicious Sat 06-Oct-12 21:51:35

Have you mastered the art of feeding while standing up and rocking at the same time? Might be possible to feed to sleep that way?

Angelico Sun 07-Oct-12 10:32:01

Screaming phase last night was 10.30-02.00 but she settled straight after middle of night feed so we got some sleep. It is easier when the screamies hit earlier but DH took her into other room so I could sleep bless him. Is going to get much tougher once he goes back to work next week sad

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 07-Oct-12 16:34:03

Have you tried feeding her while you are lying down in bed Angelico?

Loie159 Sun 07-Oct-12 21:27:20

DS had really strong Moro reflex. He would fall asleep and then his arms would jerk and he would hit himself in the face and wake himself up! He also used to get really overtired and scream, then sleep for a bit, then scream etc etc ..... Trying to stop him getting overtired helped and Swaddling was the best thing ever and soothed him and stopped him hitting himself just when he fell asleep

Angelico Sun 07-Oct-12 22:24:45

We've realised the screaming phase coincides with her trying to poop and struggling sad She's breastfed and has wet nappies throughout day but seems to have started doing all her poops in the evening / night - 2 or 3 dirty nappies overnight. Poor wee thing was in agony earlier, her wee face made me cry sad In the end I swaddled her and let her feed for a few minutes and she settled.

Hpbp Mon 08-Oct-12 07:44:38

Angelico, definitively try osteopathy, it will ease the transit system if any issue. It worked really well for my DD.

Angelico Mon 08-Oct-12 09:41:35

Thanks Hpbp will phone round a bit and see who's in the area smile

Sprite21 Mon 08-Oct-12 19:55:14

Just wanted to add that while all these tips are great and they hopefully work, some babies just cry in the evenings.It's like they'really winding down. So by all means try different things but don't beat yourself up if you can't "solve" it. DD was like this and we coped by DP staying up with her in the evenings while I slept. Then we swapped around 1am. At least I got some unbroken sleep. It did resolve itself by about 8 weeks.

narmada Mon 08-Oct-12 21:03:08

what sprite say. God, it is hard tho.

are you feeding on demand or to a routine?

One thing you could try is exposing yr LO one to bright morning light -apparently this helps set body clock to allow you to fall asleep earlier. It is normal for tiny babies to be awake in evening and fussing/ screeching/ shouting the house down.

have a hug, it will get better smile

broodylicious Mon 08-Oct-12 23:39:14

I just re-read your original post after sprite's comment.... And I gotta say I agree. Babies do unfortunately cry, particularly as you're still only days in rather than weeks. It's their only way of communicating with you. It is so hard those first few weeks, I have total sympathy with you, I really do - i know how difficult I found it with dd when she first came along - but honestly, it's normal. Everything they are seeing, doing, hearing etc is all totally new to them and that includes their pooing and farting!
So hang in there and don't beat yourself up about routines or timings etc - just enjoy your little bundle and go with the flow smilebiscuit

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